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One Second After – Audio Book Review

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One Second After – Audio Book ReviewOne Second After five-stars
ISBN: 0765356864
by William R. Forstchen
Published by Blackstone Audio, Inc. on March 17, 2009
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic & Dystopian
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Joe Barrett
Pages: 351
Length: 13 hours and 17 minutes
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John Matherson is a widower, a single dad, a retired Army colonial, a college professor and he's royally screwed.

As John was relaxing in his North Carolina mountain home, talking to his old boss on the phone, it died. The phone died. The cars died. The electrical grid, nationwide, died. And, worst of all, the morality of many people died.

John finds himself not only struggling to keep himself and his family alive with little food, water and the meds his diabetic daughter needs, he's also found himself to be a community leader that half the town counts on and the rest resent.

This is a one-year story of John, his family and his community's heart-wrenching struggle to survive. They face famine, broken government, epidemic disease and no emergency services. They go to war with marauding cannibals. There's martial law and invading forces in parts of the Country. This book will have you red-faced angry one minute and fighting tears the next. One Second After is an emotional roller coaster you won't be able to pull yourself away from or stop thinking about.

Review/Post Reading Time: 4 minutes

One Second After Review – Book One, A John Matherson Novel

One Second After by William R. Forstchen is probably the number one book recommended and shared among preppers and survivalists.

Not only does One Second After explore the idea of a nationwide collapse due to an EMP (Electro-Magnetic Pulse), it also looks at how quickly society might breakdown, even in small rural communities.

Sure, it’s a fictional story, but based on a ton of research and study. Is it possible? Maybe, but unlikely. EMPs make for exciting books.

Sold yet?

Get this book on Audible. If you’re not an Audible fan, get it on Kindle or paperback. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Brian’s Overall Audiobook Rating

Five stars. Are you surprised? Actually, it could very well be my favorate Post-Apocalyptic book. It is definitely one of my favorate audiobooks.


In One Second After, John Matherson is a retired Army colonel, college professor and single father. John left the Army, passing up a star, to take care of his terminally ill wife, Mary Matherson.

After John’s wife passed, he stayed in their isolated home in Black Mountain, N.C. with their two daughters, 13-year-old Jennifer and 16-year-old Elizebeth. Jennifer has type one diabetes.

The Storyline

John Matherson is at home with his two daughters when the power goes out. It isn’t long before they realize the cars are staled on the freeway, their phones and electronics don’t work. John was actually on the phone with his old boss at the Pentagon when everything hit the fan.

With no news or outside communication and a very limited amount of food, water and medician, humanity takes a turn for the worse in the blink of an eye.

John unwittingly finds himself a community leader, Can he hold the community together? Can he find the resources and help needed for everyone to survive long-term?

One Second After has everything you could ask for in a post-apocalyptic novel. We have violence, heartbreak, loyalty, love, and comradery.

What? Not powerful enough? Okay, how about war, cannibalism, warlords and even martial law? Bam!

Wait, I know what you’re thinking. You think it’s one of those far-fetched stories that is so unbelievable it’s hard to enjoy.

Nope. Not only does the author, William R. Forstchen, keep things within a realistic realm of possibilities, it actually is possible. In real life! Who says that? Your government. Many experts. Governments of other countries, several of which have threatened the United States with just this kind of attack – an EMP strike.

And we’re not ready. We’re not hardened for an EMP. And the vast majority of citizens isn’t prepared for more than a week-long emergency. You see, One Second After could very well become a true story. Are you ready?

One Second After – A John Matherson Novel – A Trilogy

One Second After is the first book of the trilogy, ‘A John Matherson Novel‘, along with book two, ‘One Year After‘ and three, ‘The Final Day‘.

Book one, the one we’re reviewing, takes you from the day of the ‘event‘ to a year after. I can safely say, without spoiling the story, that the world is an entirely different place after a year without modern conveniences and a lot happens within the year. One Second After has a lot of action and doesn’t get boring at all.

Mature Subject Matter:

Violence: Yes, very graphic violence.
Profanity: A little.
Sex: Nothing graphic.
Alcohol/drugs: Mild drinking.

One Second After Main Characters

  • John Matherson – Main character
  • Mary Matherson – John’s deceased wife. She’s obviously not a character in One Second After but she is mentioned quite often.
  • Elizabeth Matherson – John’s 16-year-old daughter
  • Jennifer Matherson – John’s 13-year-old daughter
  • Jennifer Datson – John’s Mother-in-law
  • Makala Turner – Newcomer that becomes a, what?
  • Ben Johnson – Elizabeth Matherson’s boyfriend.

Book Author: William R. Forstchen

About William R. Forstchen

William R. Forstchen

Dr William R. Forstchen lives in Black Mountain, NC where he writes, teaches college and pilots his WWII recon bird.

Bill Forstchen is a semi-retired full professor of history at Montreat College in Montreat, NC.

Forstchen has written over forty books and is an American historian and specializes in Military History. Dr Forstchen holds a doctorate in history from Purdue University.

EMP is a real threat; I believe the most underestimated threat in the history of our country. ~ William R. Forstchen

Constructive Criticism

I feel like a five-year-old boy standing in front of a platoon of seasoned combat veterans giving them my critique after a successful mission every time I write my “Constructive Criticism” section.

I have very little to offer as far as what “I” would have liked to have seen in the story.

I was a little irritated that a couple of scenes brought tears to my eyes (Not from laughter) as I was driving – a tractor-trailer on the interstate. That was a little rude.

Seriously, I can’t think of anything negative for this section. I guess that’s a good thing.

One Second After Audible Narration By Joe Barrett

About Joe Barrett

Joe Barrett

Joe Barrett is an audiobook narrator, actor and author.

Joe Barrett has narrated over 400 audiobooks for Audible and it looks like he’s authored a couple of his own books as well. He did a great job with One Second After, although the sequel “One Year After” was narrated by Bronson Pinchot.

I’m not sure why the narrator switch, maybe just an availability thing, but I would prefer the same narrator to be used for every book in a series. I’m sure there was a decent reason for it and both narrators did a fine job.

I just want you to be aware of the narration switch-up because I’m sure you’re going to love One Second After as much as I did and go straight into the One Year After.

Barrett holds a BA English from the University of Rochester and a Juris Doctorate in Labor and Employment Law from the New York Law School.

Brian’s Overall Audiobook Rating Get this book on Audible. If you’re not an Audible fan, get it on Kindle or paperback. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Buy now on Audible
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Rating Report
Overall: five-stars
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Brian Hawkins

I'm a blogger, avid reader and daily audiobook listener. This is my second book review website and I'm excited to see how well it works out for the Audiobooks I consume.

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